tv [untitled] February 14, 2012 1:48am-2:18am PST
third hearing, we're starting to move toward the legislative process, with informational hearings a first. it is at the commission's discretion as to how you would like to handle this item today. we look for to moving forward with the modifications we have agreed to and if the commission desires to continue hearing the item, that is within your purview and we would potentially go forward with the land use hearing. but depending on the timing, i am open to discussion on the timing issue. and any other discussion you would like to have.
>> a good afternoon. there are two items before you, i planning code text change and a corresponding zoning map amendment. both of these items have been presented to the commission twice before. they were introduced on may 3 of last year and there haveç beeno extensions. the deadline for the commission to hear this is tomorrow, so unless the deadline is extended, he can take it on to the land use committee without any further action by you. since the legislation and department recommendations have been presented to the commission, things have not significantly changed since the last hearing. i will focus on a broad overview of the legislation since the item was last presented. they propose to make changes
based on current policies like the city's transit first policy and encouraging affordable housing. the primary thrust is to rationalize some areas of the planning code, such as recognizing transit-rich areas, adjustingñr parking controls downtown so they are more in line withñr what is actually beg entitled through the process and making the controls consistent throughout the city. the proposed legislation seeks to encourage the preservation of historic resources by reducing procedural barriers to adaptive reuse and allowing more flexibility. by allowing limited commercial uses to be reinstated, the legislation seeks to encourage the retention and revitalization of small neighborhoods serving retail uses and residential areas. the legislation seeks to encourage more affordable
housing and more specifically on site affordable housing. since this item was last presented comedy department and supervisors office has held meetings twice -- you got a letter a couple of days ago on that, and san francisco heritage. we presented to the historic preservation commission for a second time in the recommended approval with staff's recommendations. w3overall, the department suppos the legislation and policies seeks to implement. however, there are some modifications we believe are needed. those are outlined in the case package and those were touched on inç the presentation. staff has included two new recommendations outlined and is included in your packet. their recommendation isç to approve this legislation with modifications. i will be here for questions. thank you. >> thank you.
[reading names] >> good afternoon, president and members of the commission. i'm with the board of san francisco planning and development staff. i'm happy to be here today to thank you and your staff particularly i would like to acknowledge tom for the work he has put in to this. we are in agreement with the assessment that -- with what was just presented to you. has been a very collaborative effort to work through the issues and we think we have a good path toward for resolving a number of the items that have been presented previously regarding how the court can work with the city to manage the waterfront design review
process and apply that to keep the waterfront special use districts intact as they are currently in the planning code, to recognize the ports land use burden act and fiduciary responsibilities under the burton act with respect with allowing the parking lots to continue in perpetuity. we appreciate that, knowing what the overall objectives of this legislation are. ot in terms of the scope of what you are trying to accomplish in the planning code. çthe proposals that have been included --ç we would like to stay in touch with that because as most of our projects are historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects, that is an area we want to stay focused on as possible consideration in the future.
in short, we really appreciate your time and attention and i'm ready to move onto the next that. thank you very much. if you have any questions, i'm happy to answer. >>ç a good afternoon, commissioners. i am here today to speak again in favor of this ordinance. one of the goals of the ordinance was to look at the planning code as it was developed over the past decade added to the tool box and to say can we apply these tools to for their goals of the city's general plan and a bunch of neighborhoods in san francisco as well as furthering the goals of the plans. if you look at the maps of area plants, there are several area plans. the northeast plan and the
downtown plan, etc.. we are not delivering on all of the goals in those plans. could we, if we apply the new tools, further those goals and i think our conclusion is yes, this would be an increment of progress and we are glad staff agrees and we think what's in this ordinance will help advance the goal of those plans. there are issues like affordable housing and with a loss of redevelopment, which has been the mainstay of the affordable housing program. either 100% affordable projects for providing affordable rental and for sale units on site, we think there are good solutions year and we put that affordable rental option on site and put it back on the table in a way that was taken off the table. there has been a lot of outreach
and communication from different stakeholders. i'm pleased to say there's a big and diverse group of supporters. people who do not always agree on everything and people who i have been adversariwe have beene housing coalition and the trade council and the san francisco bicycle coalition and the mayor's office has indicated their support for the way it advances their goals and i think everyone was worried about with three development. we could advance a lot of those goals with the ordinance. san francisco architectural heritage has endorsed this ordinance. the small-business commission has endorsed provisions related to assign edge, related to small business, particularly the limited commercial use. i know there are a few projects waiting for this.
they have been trapped, trying to move into a former commercial space in the mission district. they have not been able to do because of the cabinet -- because of the provisions put into the neighborhood. çitç is going to be a full calendar year before all of the pieces are signed into law, but we appreciate your time and deliberations on this. we hope he will recommend today and we can go the next step, which is to start the hearings at land use committee and to start drawing up these and finalizing them. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i would like to thank judson and his help in accommodating my
misunderstandings, which i'm sure will alwaysç secure in the future regarding legislation -- always occur in the future regarding legislation. i was getting really bleary eyed and now i understand most of what was in there. i also want to submit that e- mail's you should have received and my backup documentation. i would like to read into the record a record -- a letter dated february 9, 2012. planning commission -- the subject is -- the jordan park improvement association requested proposed resolution -- proposal was a bit -- reported -- propose legislation remove the lines on page 168 of the april 282011 ordinary -- confederation of the ordinance. this was not removed because of the implications to the residential district with
nonconforming use and density considerations. there will be an adverse impact on the small neighborhood of jordan part. thank you for your attention to this matter. thank you very much. çpresident miguel: [reading names] >> i'm be here on behalf of the housing coalition. last year, tom was generous enough to come before us twice to make a presentation on this. he deserves an awful lot of credit for the work he has put into it and he might never forgive me for saying that the reaction we had is this is a moderate idea. it moves land-use ford in a way the housing coalition supports. it is wonderful and increases density and reduces the influence of private automobile
use. it has an awful lot to say in favor of it. we understand it is moving quickly and there are changes that have been made. we think you should move it for and we are interested in that discussion of bonuses. we think it has all lot of promise. everyone said this is pretty good and it should move forward. a lot of credit to supervisor chiu on it. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i have to say that tim is a tough act to follow, but i will try. we represent priority parking and priority parking operates various parking lot in the downtown area. we are glad to see the changes to the rate restrictions. we're glad to see those are being separated out and will be
further that it with the mta and parking lot operatoregarding thd operation of the parking lots, i have to reiterate priority parking and a parking association objects to the elimination of the longstanding provision under the code that allows for the continued operation of these parking lots. that was part of the grandfathering back in the 1980's. just a reminder these parking lots have been in legal operation for over 20 years. we think the changes proposed are positive, but we think it is a mistake to require ceasing operations -- the conditional use operation process can be quite cumbersome. president miguel: is there additional public comment? >> i just want to know the
eastern neighborhood cac was not commented on even though this will allow one of the projects would afford. i want to talk about procedural issues. one is the difference between exception in conditional uses. they have very different consequences. conditional uses, everyone knows with the standard is. it's in the planning code and is readily available. exceptions, not so much. i don't even think planning commission could define the standard for it. when you approve a project under a conditional use, it is very well known to the public, eight supervisors can modify condition at the board of supervisors on appeal. exceptions are basically dead when you act. there is a theoretical appeal -- you need 80%, you need four votes to do an appeal. i have never see the board of
appeals overturned an exception and i have a contested one on parking. i also questioned what the standard car in terms of permanence. eightcu -- ac cu çbecomes the planning code. my question is -- you have a one-week rule for staff reports. it is like pulling teeth to get it two weeks in advance because you are in a longer staff reports. you are going to have -- the public will have a staff report on an exception. on friday afternoon it is available and the public is able to get up to speed and question exceptions, you may modify it the following week, and if you don't, the staff report stands. permanently. for all intents and purposes. i think you need to be cautious
about making things exceptions rather than conditional uses. exceptions did not exist -- i was there when they were born. they were born in the downtown plan and adopted in one of the plans and -- it's now the fast route to an approval treated is negotiated between staff and a developer and the public is not involved. they are dead when you act. [tone] whenever you have legislation of this magnitude that does not have pulled out all the policy changes in it, right up front, rather than here is the technical stuff we're doing and technical, technical, technical, where are the policy changes? it is not there and should have been there and it's not there and shame on you and the staff for letting it go this far without it.
thank you very much. [tone] >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm the co-chair for the san francisco land use committee. i sat in that meeting several times with the san francisco network and we had representatives from the planning department. unfortunately, my issues were not taken up in any depth or detail, so i cannot say i understand this fully. the concern i have -- [unintelligible] don't worry, this is only a change in process. that's pretty important.
the concern is nonconforming onto residential land going on without any kind of hearing which i guess is allowed presently. concern about notification or the fact that it may not have hearings in regards to this -- we never had an in-depth what is it? a report steady. that's why i'm leery about that area. i hope the department will be good enough to give us some kind of time in that regard. thank you. >> thank you. president miguel: is there
additional public comment? seeing ne, public comment is closed. i would like to thank the supervisor on the work they have done on this. others have spent a great deal of time on it -- we only got the last transmission. obviously last night. i was pleased in going over it to see the severance of basic policies come out of it. i described it as an omnibus type of legislation last time it was in front of us and difficult to get your head around. i appreciate the severance of a number of different and controversial issues from the basic legislation. i truly believe that is the proper way to do it and they
will receive their hearings in due time. as to the staff report and planning staff, i was also pleased to see because it falls right in line with what has happened and other legislation that has come from the board to the department and the commission that there is basic agreement. there are three or four items partially in agreement and everything else is in agreement and nothing was actually disputed that has not been severed. that pleases me and shows we are pretty much on the same path. i regret the timing on this. i have expressed that as i did at the beginning of the hearing today. there will, however, be
continuous hearings that the board itself for individuals. this is not legislation over which we have basic control. the planning commission only is an advisory board in effect to the board of supervisors. the majority of our advice has come through the previous areas. other than the direct severance, i don't think there has been much change from the advice we have had given the before. i'm willing to take a vote on it at this time. our time runs out tomorrow. with the thought that we can individually or even -- if it comes to us as an agenda item, still have time to work on individual things.
obviously, we will want to weigh in on those pieces of individual legislation that have presently been severed from us. i think it is important, if there is any way to continue this, given the fact we just received the modified version. it is very complicated and i will try to go into the many parts i have problems with. i'm glad to see there are some things being severed. most importantly, i think the parking situation. i remember in my early days on the commission in 2003 or 2004, long discussions about parking. i believe the commission passed -- it may have been three spots for every four units with the ability to go on. it went to supervisors and was modified and
even this supervisor who modified that -- i believe that is still what is in xl@ce. there is perhaps an allowance of parking if you have two bedrooms or a thousand square feet or more. that would eliminate that if i'm not reading this incorrectly. i think that is a huge change and possibly move in the wrong direction. my feeling is we need more units that are larger units that allow at least one parking place because many of our residents live a short time in san francisco and when they start to have families, they leave because, especially in an area like that, a lot of people would stay and we heard about where there is a high incidence the of people with families and because they have a new project
is going to have larger units to accommodate the desire for people to have larger spaces with adequate parking to serve families. i think a lot of the congestion we have is from people passing through, not the residents. if you go downtown and are able to stop people driving and ask them where they're from, i bet very few of them are from there. their people from other parts of the city or from out of san francisco trying to get into some part of san francisco. i think there is a difference between traffic problems and it coming from people passing through rather than people who live there. if someone has a parking space, they're not going to move their car. they will walk everywhere. that has to be looked at very carefully. the next issue is surface parking lots. there was a speaker who spoke to
that and the way the legislation would read, it has been changed where if the owner of a surface parking lots would have to go through the process every five years to continue the use. but then the question comes up, if there is not a higher and better use and they don't get it, what happens? it just sits vacant was no parking? it has to be something, one would hope. parking get displaced by higher and better uses. we see a lot of buildings that have replaced surface parking lots which nobody likes. i think we have to incentivize and for the people to eliminate parking or put a below grade rather than try to stop them from having it there are making it more difficult. then the whole thing about bulk and again, allowances that allow heightened the bulk and i think
this is an effort to make it possible to have affordable rental and come, because polymer requires some sort of element that has been given to the developer to allow this -- really, there is an appropriate height that should apply to an area that is there for reason. if you start making exceptions for affordable and end up with an overcrowded area and people will have cars anyway and it will be even more congested and if they don't, the way to do it is may be to try to incentivize by a giving fee forgiveness to builders for units, particularly for larger family size units. that's a good way to allow for this thing to happen. we talked a little bit about
pricing facilities for parking structures. long-term pricing -- i know there were concerns about this. i don't know if the legislation addresses it, but i think there is a language that talks about controls over whether the operators of parking facilities would be allowed to have early bird specials or all these other things. i think it's an area that needs careful attention. finally -- the emphasis has to be on a larger multi bedroom units. that's something we have to work on, just making a bunch of smaller units encourages the same thing we are seeing now. in the other problem, we have to look at the whole level of affordability and address the middle-income group everyone has always talked about. some of this is part of recent
compromises being worked out in other projects where we raise the ceiling for people to live there because their incomes exceed what we consider to be affordable but they cannot afford market rate and we have to look carefully. we want to convert under used commercial to housing. allowing it to be at, when unit is fine, but if it is more than one, it's an important oversight to make sure an area of group housing -- there is some public process and oversight. another thing that doesn't seem to be in here and i think we have to think about that is allowing some commercial parking to be part of projects to help offset the cost of the project.
he might be able to build more affordable housing if you offset the cost by including it within their excess space for commercial parking use. they have to park somewhere and i think that has been a successful formula. it was used on brand -- but has been used on soma grand and you can pull right in offload mission street. the grandfather in, i have a question on that, maybe mr. true or mr. starr can answer it. whether it has been approved by the commission or whether it's in the application process, where are we drawing the line on these things? >> the only project have heard approved are the ones that are